Politics

Don Cherry Tells Tucker Carlson ‘Silent Majority’ Is On His Side Over Remarks That Got Hockey Broadcaster Fired

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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Celebrated Canadian hockey broadcaster Don Cherry isn’t backing down over remakes he made last weekend about some Canadians not honoring Canadian veterans by wearing a poppy.

Cherry appeared on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Tuesday to address the controversy, telling the host that the “silent majority” is behind him while “I stand by what I said and I still mean it.”

Sportsnet fired Cherry Monday after he made remarks about people who come to Canada and do not bother to remember the sacrifices of military veterans. His remarks were construed by some as an attack on immigrants. (RELATED: Don Cherry Bodychecks ‘Cuckaloos’ Who Believe In Climate Change)

“You people … love our way of life, love our milk and honey. At least you could pay a couple of bucks for poppies or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada.”

“I thought I did a good thing,” Cherry told Carlson. “The one thing that got me was ‘You people.’  I suppose, if I had to do it over again, I would have said ‘Everybody.’ But ‘You people’ are the people they listen to,” Cherry said in reference to those in media who called his remarks “a rant” or, as at least one U.S. media outlet has described the comments, “racist.”

“The silent majority are always silent. The [Canadian Armed] Forces are with me. Everybody is with me. The firefighters, the whole deal,” Cherry said, explaining that the management at Sportsnet brought him to their Toronto offices on Monday and simply terminated his contract. “But it doesn’t make any sense, and I was brought in, and I was told that I was fired, after 38 years. You know, I stand by what I said, and I still mean it.”

The former color commentator, who first made his name as a winning coach for the National Hockey League’s Boston Bruins during the team’s halcyon years of the 1970s, wondered if the entire episode could have been avoided if he had said, “Everybody should be wearing a poppy.” He suggested “people are very sensitive … And that got me.”

Carlson disagreed about the issue being sensitivity. “Just to clarify, they’re not sensitive at all, they are fascist. They actually have no real feelings. They are faking their outrage. They’re trying to you because they want to assert power, because it makes them feel big … Did you mean to say something hateful?” (RELATED: Legendary Hockey Announcer Hammers Media On Kneeling Double Standard)

“No, I didn’t,” Cherry responded. “We are all immigrants … The funny thing is, I never heard a thing that night. I heard it the next day. The silent majority, as you know, is always silent, and the other people, whoever they want it to be, they listen to them … This Saturday will be the first time in 38 years that I’ve never been on Hockey Night in Canada.”

When asked how much Canada has changed in those 38 years, Cherry said the country has “changed a lot,” but insisted the transformation has been mostly in the urban areas. “When you get to the smaller cities, they haven’t changed at all. They have in Toronto … and the United States is the same way. When you get to the smaller cities, they haven’t changed at all.”